Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (2023)

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Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (1)

The indoor garden on level 0 looking towards the front of the station

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (2)

Inside the doors at the front of the station, at the far end is the access to the departure lounge

Irrespective of an interest in modern architecture, it's undeniable that Madrid's primary rail station has the power to make an impact, particularly when arriving on a high speed train.

It is the scale of the Puerta de Atocha high speed station that has earned it a place on our list of Awe Inspiring Stations and yes the indoor garden/jungle also can't fail to impress.

It's a huge building, but the trick to understanding how Madrid Atocha functions, is to set aside assumptions of how you would normally use a railway station; hence the detailed, but useful info.

Good to know

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (3)

Looking down at the station from street level, hence the need to ascend when exiting the station

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (4)

The high speed trains have arrived at level 0

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (5)

Looking down at the Cercanias concourse on level 0 from the passage way on level 1

Six things worth knowing bout Atocha station:

(1) The signage within the station is comparatively easy to follow and is bi-lingual; so you can trust it to navigate your way through the vast complex.

(2) Madrid Atocha in effect three stations in one building:

(Video) A Walk Around Atocha Railway Station, Madrid

  • the main terminal, known as Puerta De Atocha, which is the part of the station used by the high speed trains.
  • the Cercanias station used by the local trains (the Cercanias trains), the Media-Distancia trains; AND the non-high speed long distance trains.
  • the Metro station.

(3) The experience of taking a high speed train to and from the Puerta de Atocha is similar to taking a flight.
The arriving and departing passengers are largely kept apart.
Salidas = departures
Llegadas = arrivals
So the experience of using the station is very different if you are departing by long distance train,
compared to arriving by train.
When departing by high speed train you pass through a luggage screening area and staffed ticket gates, as you would at an airport.

(4) What can make the geography of the Atocha station easier to comprehend is that the main terminal sits in a valley.
Meaning that level 0 isn't at street level; it's the exits on levels 1 and 2 which give access to the streets surrounding the station.

(5) You can move between the multiple levels by escalator and/or travellators (moving walkways); at Atocha the lifts are only available to those that require mobility assistance.

(6) Madrid Atocha is on four levels:

Planta/Level 2:

  • This is the top level; it is the location of the main taxi rank.
  • It is located above the Cercanias station; which is to the side of the main high speed terminal.

Planta/Level 1:

  • This is at street level.
  • The 'Planta Primera' departure hall is on this level.

Planta/Level 0:
On this level you will find:

  • The main ticket office, the 'venta de billetes; it's by the indoor garden;
  • Most of the shops at the station in an area which resembles a shopping mall;
  • Within this mall is the entrance to the 'Planta Baja' departure hall;
  • The entrance to the Metro station.
  • The concourse for the Cercanias part of the station.
    The ticket machines/offices for the Cercanias trains are located here.
    This Cercanias concourse also houses a departure gate for the small number of long distance 'larga-distancia' non-high speed trains, which also leave from this part of the station.

Planta/Level -1:

  • This lowest level is where the vias (platforms/tracks) in the Cercanias station are located.

Working towards a new Atocha station

Over the coming years Atocha station is to be improved and expanded and the works towards this goal have already commenced.
They include;

  • a second concourse for the Cercanias ()local) trains at the south end of the station,
  • a new entrance to the station on its western side,
  • changes to the area in front of the station to provide easier access from street level.

One of the changes is that four new platforms/tracks for use by high speed trains are to be constructed at a lower level, and they will be linked to an already constructed cross-city tunnel.
This will enable high speed services between northern and both eastern and southern Spain to cross Madrid and call at both Atocha and Chamartin stations; and will provide Atocha with new links to the likes of Valladolid, Leon, Oviedo and Santander.
The first timetable change to enable this work to be carried out has already occurred because the trains from **Madrid to Alacant/Alicante are now using Madrid-Chamartin station instead of Atocha.
At the next timetable change, some of the trains from Madrid to Valencia will also be switched to departing from Chamartin station.

Departing by AVE, Avant and Alvia trains:

These seven things are worth keeping in mind if you will be taking a HIGH SPEED trainfrom Madrid Atocha.

(1) The part of the station used by the high speed trains is known as 'Madrid Puerta de Atocha'.

(2) Aim to arrive atAtocha a minimum of 30 mins before your train is due to depart - even if you don’t need to purchase a ticket.

(3) However, be at the station a minimum of 45 mins before your train is due to depart if you DO also need to buy a ticket.
Adopt a similar mind set as you would when taking a domestic flight from an airport; give yourself time to go through the security procedures and to make your way to your train.

(4) If you happen to arrive at the station hours before your high speed train is departing, a good option is to have a meal/drink in one of the restaurants located by the indoor garden.

(5) Otherwise head to the departure halls, the 'Sala de embarque', as soon as you arrive at Atocha; you have to pass through these departure halls if you will be taking any high speed train.
What's relatively new is that this departure lounge, the 'Sala de embarque' is now on two levels; level 1 AND level 0.
The access to the via (platform/track) which your train will be departing from will be through gates on EITHER level, so depending on which via your train will be departing from, you will go through gates on level 1 OR level 0.

(6) On the departure screens at the station, in the 'Observaciones' column, over to the right, you will see either 'Planta Baja' or 'Planta Primera'.
Planta Baja is the departure hall on level 0 and Planta Primera is the departure hall on level 1.
You will need to head to which ever of these halls is shown for your departure, use the destination and train number to guide you, the train number will be on your ticket.

(7) You will need to pass through ticket/security checks at the entrances to these departure halls; and queues can inevitably build up at busy times.

Using the departure halls / lounge:

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (6)

The travellators on the right link level 1 in the departure lounge to the trains

There are now two departure halls at Atocha, from which the high speed train departures can be accessed:

  • the Planta Baja hall, follow the signs pointing the way to the 'Salidas Plantas Baja'
  • the Planta Primera hall, follow the signs pointing the way to the 'Salidas Plantas 1'.
    The departure screens throughout the station show which of the two halls you need to pass through in order to access a train.

It's LIKELY that you will to use the Primera hall on level 1, if you will be taking an:

  • AVE train to Barcelona or to Figueres via Barcelona
  • AVE train to Malaga
  • AVE or Alvia train to Seville
  • Alvia trains to Cadiz or Jerez
  • IC (Altaria train) to Algeciras

In contrast, the vias (platforms/tracks) with the higher numbers can now be accessed through the 'Planta Baja' on level 0

Train services* which can USUALLY accessed from this lower level include the:

  • AVE trains to Valencia
  • Avant trains heading to Toledo
    *This is not a fully comprehensive list.

The specific number of the via (platform/track) that your train will be departing from will be confirmed around 10 - 20 minutes ahead of the departure time.
You will need to keep an eye on the departure screens in the departure lounge, as the fact that boarding has commenced will not normally be announced.

There are staffed gates, similar to those at airports, at the entrance to each via (platform/track) where you will need to show your ticket.
The queues of passengers waiting to pass through each gate snake through the departure halls.
The train will depart on time regardless of whether all passengers have passed through the checks.

To facilitate this, the 'gates' will close a few minutes before departure.
Hence it being a good idea to allow plenty of time to catch a high speed train from Atocha.

Both departure halls resemble a provincial airport terminal.
They have banks of seating in which you can wait for the details of your departure to be confirmed and food/drink outlets, but if you arrive particularly early for your train, making use of one of the cafes in the station complex is a better option.

Accessing the AVE departure halls:

You will need to useeither of the two Sala de Embarque', departure halls, if you will be taking an AVE train, OR the other types of high speed train; the Alvia or Avant trains.

This 'Sala de Embarque' is now on two levels, 0 and 1, but in effect there are operated as two separate halls.
Each via (platform/track) which the train will be departing from can be accessed from level 0 OR level 1, so you need to enter the correct hall.
On the departure screens within the station, Planta Baja is the departure hall on level 0 and Planta Primera is the departure hall on level 1.

For the level 0 departures area follow the signs to the 'Salidas Plantas Baja' (Departures Ground Floor), it's on the other side of the security check area, which is within the mall area at the station, between the Cercanias part of the station and the indoor garden area.
At quiet times this entrance can be easy to miss, as its literally in a gap between some stores, you'll see the security guards sitting at desks and guiding passengers.

The departure area on Level 1 has two entrances, at both of which you will have to pass through security checks in order pass through into the departure hall.

One of these access points to the level 1 departure hall is at the mall end of the hall which houses the indoor garden
When you go through the doors from the mall area into the indoor garden hall, you will see travellator just ahead of you, this leads up to the departure hall entrance on level 1 (note that when walking from the ticket office, you will need to head towards the doors to the mall and then turn around, because the travellator will be behind you).

The other entrance to the level 1 of the departure lounge is the atrium above the Cercanias part of the station.

when arriving by taxi:

There are two taxi drop off areas at Atocha.

(1) If you arrive by taxi at the main drop off area on level/planta 2, you will be dropped at the upper level of the Cercanias (suburban train station).
Don’t worry about at having arrived at the 'wrong' part of the station.

The Cercanias station has a multi-level atrium that houses lifts and escalators and you can use these to descend to Level/Plantas 1 and 0.

If you train is departing from one of the vias (platforms/tracks) which can be accessed through the 'Planta Primera', 1, you can enter into it from level 1 within this atrium.
So if you have a ticket, this is actually a quick route to the high speed departures (salidas) which can be accessed through this departure hall.
However, some of the vias (platforms/tracks) can be accessed from a separate departure lounge area, which is on level 0; the 'planta baja'
So if take the escalators or elevators down to level 0 and then enter the mall area of the station, a passage way slopes down to it from the Cercanias concourse and then you'll see the security checks at the entrance to the hall on the left.

(2) Though taxis also drop off at the Level 0; the same level as the indoor garden and ticket office.
If you need to buy a ticket at Atocha, ask the driver to drop you at this entrance by the garden.
The main ticket hall for the AVE and the other larga-distancia trains is by the indoor garden.

From here you will either:

  • need to head to the level 0 departure hall, following the signs to the 'Salidas Plantas Baja', go through the doors which lead into the mall; then turn to the left
  • have to use the travellators by the indoor garden, to ascend to the level 1 departure hall, following the signs to 'Salidas Plantas 1'.
(Video) Madrid Atocha Train Station-How to Catch the Train

when arriving by Cercanias train:

If you arrive by Cercanias train (there are direct Cercanias trains from the airport and Chamartin station); then you will initially need to ascend to the main Cercanias concourse on level 0 by escalator.

One of the departure halls, the plantas baja is on level 0, so if your train will be leaving from a via (platform/track) which can be accessed through this departure hall, remain on this level and enter the mall area of the station.
You will soon come to the security screening area to this Salidas Plantas Baja'' over on the left

If you need to use the 'Salidas Plantas 1' to access your train, you can remain in the atrium of this Cercanias station and ascend to Planta/Level 1 by escalator or elevator.

when arriving by Metro:

If you arrive at Atocha by Metro, you will be walking head from the Metro station area, which is on level 0

If you need to use the level 0 departure hall to access your onward train, follow the signs to the Salidas Plantas Baja' (Departures Ground Floor), the route is to keep going straight ahead into mall area, on the left you'll soon see the security screening area, which you'll need to pass through.

If you need to the Salidas Plantas 1, the level 1 departure hall, go passed this security check, following the signs which will lead you over to the right, you'll go through a set a doors into the hall at the station, which houses the indoor garden,
On the other side of the doors is a travellator, which leads up to the level departure hall.

Buying Tickets for the AVE trains

If you don't want to use a RENFE ticket machine, you will need to buy last minute tickets from the main RENFE ticket office; the ‘Venta De Billetes’
It is located to one side of the indoor garden, so head towards it.

If you arrive at Atocha by Cercanias trains you will initially have to ascend from the via (track/platform, that the Cercanias train will have arrived.
Then once you are up on the concourse in this Cercanias part of the station, you'll then needover to the left and enter the mall area.
The exit from the Metro also leads into this mall area.

Over to the right you'll see some doors to the main hall, which houses the indoor garden, go through them to enter this hall and the ‘Venta De Billetes’ will be on the right hand side.

When you have made your purchase, exit the ticket office into the indoor garden and then turn left to retrace your steps towards the mall.
Before you come to the doors which lead to the mall, there will be an travellator behind you and to the right, it leads up to level 1 in the departure lounge.

Or you can enter the mall, go down the passage way to the left and then over to the right you'll come to a security check area, which is the entrance to level 0 in the departure lounge.

Departing by other express trains:

The main terminal, the 'Puerta De Atocha' is only used by the high speed trains.
OTHER longer distance trains usually depart from the via/platforms in the Cercanias station – which as its name suggests, is otherwise dominated by the ‘Cercanias’ commuter trains.

The long distance trains that usually also depart from the Cercanias station include:

  • the Media Distancia trains towards Caceres, Huelva and Badajoz.
  • the ICtrains to Almeria
  • the Altaria trains toMurcia (and destinations beyond Murcia).

If you are taking one of these trains, check the details on the main departure (Salidas) screens carefully - and don’t be surprised if the via/platform is actually in the Cercanias station.
Once you are in the Cercanias station you need to find the somewhat hard to spot ‘largadistancia/media distancia’ departure gate.

Arriving on a high speed train:

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (7)

This passage way with travellators, links the high speed arrivals on level 1 to all of the other parts of the station

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (8)

There are two sets of travellators and escalators on each platform in the high speed station, which lead up to level 1

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (9)

Looking towards the walkways and escalators which lead up to Level 1 arrivals

It's almost certain that if you will be arriving by one of the high speed train services to Madrid; the AVE, Altaria and Alvia trains, your train will arrive in the 'Puerta De Atocha' part of the station.
Though how you exit the station, from the Puerta De Atocha can vary between TWO routes.

Route 1:
This is the typical route if your train arrives at vias (platforms/tracks) 2 - 12.

The train will halt towards the far end of the via (platform/track), farthest from the station terminal.
From here it's likely that you will be directed to ascend to an upper level (Level 1), in order to exit from the via (track/platform) which you have just stepped on to.
There are moving walkways and elevators which lead up to level 1.

Don't assume that you will be taking a less convenient route, byhaving to ascend from where your train will have arrived.
The vias (platforms/tracks) in the high speed station are on level 0, but this is actuallybelow street level.

The route you will be following, which now also features level travellators of the type used in airport termionals, will lead you into a light filledatrium, which is at the side of the main station.
The exits from here, on level 1, areat the same level as the streets which surround the station.

At this level, over to the left is an entrance to the 'Planta Primera' departure hall.
It is you will be connecting into another AVE train heading to Barcelona, Cadiz, Figueres, Malaga, Marseille or Sevilla, it's likely that it's access will be through this hall, though check the departure screens.

(Video) Madrid Atocha Station To Madrid Airport: Bus And Train Options Explained

Escalators and elevators lead UP in this atrium lead up to the MAIN TAXI RANKon level 2.

Also in this atrium, down below you, on level 0, you will see the concourse which gives access to the Cercanias (local) trains.
So you will need to use the escalators orelevators to descend to this level, if you want to take a Cercanias train to the city centre, Chamartin station or Barajas Airport.

What you won't see, from this Level 1, in the atrium above the Cercanias station, is the other main hall at Atocha station; which houses the indoor garden, the larga-distancia ticket hall and most of the food/drink outlets at the station.
This main hall is on level 0, so you will also need to descend down into the Cercanias concourse to access this area of Atocha station.

The access to the metro station is also on level 0.
If you will be taking the Metro, once you're down on theCercanias concourse, the route to the Metro station entrance is over to the right.

To the left on level 0 will be the access to the Planta Baja departure hall, it's likely that you will have to enter this departure hall if you will connecting to the AVE and Avant services heading to Alicante, Toldeo and Valenica; though confirm this on the departure indicators.

Route 2:
This is the typical route if your train arrives at vias (platforms/tracks) 13 - 15.

You may have a choice of two options for exiting the station

  • going straight ahead towards the front of the trains, as you would when taking a train to a terminus station
  • OR using the travellators or escalators to ascend up to level 1, these may be behind you when you step off the train

If you have a choice, use the level 0 exits, ahead of you, if you

  • want to transfer to a Cercanias train to the city centre, Chamarting station or Barajas airport.
  • take the metro
    The exits will lead you out into the mall area of the station, turn to the right for the Cercanias and Metro stations.
    Ahead, on the other side of the mall, will be the indoor garden, where most of the cafes and bars at the stations are located.

However, heading up to level 1 can be the best option if you'll be TAKING A TAXI; the main rank at Atocha is up on level 2.
Also level 1 is the same level as the surrounding streets, so heading up to level 1 can be the best option if you'll be continuing your journey on foot.

Arriving on non-high speed express trains:

If you will be travelling to Madrid-Atocha on a non high-speed trains train such as an IC or MD service then these trains will almost certainly arrive in the OTHER part of Atocha station, which is mainly used by the Cercanias (local) trains.

This part of the station has comparatively easy access to the exits and other connections at Atocha.
To exit from the via (platform/track) that your train will have arrived at, you will have to use the escalators or elevators to ascend up to the Cercanias concourse; on level 0.
From this concourse you can access the Cercanias trains which will be heading to the city centre, Chamartin station or Barajas Airport.

You can also remain on Level 0 to access the Metro.

You will see an atrium leading to the levels above, and this atrium houses escalators and elevators.
Ascend up to level 1 for the street level exits from the station; go up to level 2 to access the main taxi rank at Atocha.

Accessing the city centre:

Using Atocha station in Madrid | ShowMeTheJourney (10)

The platforms/vias in the Cercanias station at Madrid Atocha

Atocha station is located on the southern edge of Madrid city centre, some distance from the heart of the city.
So public transport or taxis are a good option for reaching your final destination.

Atocha is connected to the city centre by

These Cercanias trainsare usually a faster and easier alternative to taking the Metro and they take two routes through the city centre
(1) Cercanias linesC1, C2, C7, C8 and C10 take a route viaRecoletos station
(2)Lines C3 and C4 take a different route via Sol.

In the Cercanias station the trains on lines C3 and C4 via Sol, leave from a different via (platform/track), to that which the trains via Recoletos use.
Both routes call at Nuevos Ministeriosstation AND at the city's other main station, Madrid-Chamartin (see below).

to popular tourist attractions:

The Prado Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum are within walking distance of Atocha - the latter is across the street.

The closest station to the heart of the city is Sol - and it is served by Cercanias trains on both lines C3 and C4 AND the metro.

However, there can be gaps of 15 mins between the trains on lines C3 and C4, so taking the Metro to Sol can be a good option; take the Madrd Metro line 1 (direction Pinar Chamartin).
Sol is only five Metro stops from Atocha Renfe (which is the name of the Metro station that is linked to Atocha station).
The entrance to the Metro at Atocha is off to the right of the Cercanias concourse on Level 0.

to Chamartin Station from Atocha by train:

These six things are worth knowing about making the transfer from Atocha to Chamartin stations by train.

(1) The Cercanias local trains (not the metro) provide the easiest access to Chamartin station from Atocha.
Both Atocha and Chamartin are served by line 1 of the Madrid Metro, but they are 16 stops apart!
In contrast, the Cercanias trains take less than 10 mins to reach Madrid Chamartin from Atocha.

(2) The Cercanias trains use a separate part of Atocha station to the 'Puerta de Atocha'- the main part of the station, which is used by the high speed AVE trains.

When arriving by high speed train, you canexit from the main terminal into this Cercanias station.
IF, when arriving by high speed train in the 'Puerta De Atocha, you ascend up to level 1, in order to exit the from the via(platform/track0: you can descend back down to level 0,in order to access the Cercanias concourse.

(3) You can buy a ticket for the Cercanias trains from the red ticket machines.
The ticket machines have an English translation option - but the names of the tickets remain in Spanish.
If you are going to Chamartin you will need to purchase an ‘Adulta Ina’ ticket.

(4) Cercanias lines C1,C2,C3,C4,C7,C8 and C10 all operate between Atocha and Chamartin station.

Trains to Chamartin on lines C1, C2, C7, C8 and C10 depart from platforms/via 1 and 2 – so from either side of this platform.
But the trains on line C3 and C4 take a different route to Atocha through Sol station, so they depart from platform/via 6.

You haven’t got to be a maths genius to work out that there are theoretically more frequent trains to Chamartin from via 1-2 compared to via 6;but yes you can find yourself stuck for a whileon via 1 and 2,while othertrains to Chamartin are leaving from via 6.
As far as we could tell there is no 'next train to Chamartin' indicator at Atocha.

(5) It’s a good idea to be at Chamartin around 30 mins before your onward connection departs from there;so for a stress-free transfer aim to arrive at Atocha an hour before your train departs from Chamartin.
Though the train journey between Atocha and Chamartin only takes around 12 minutes.

(6) At Atocha, the escalators and lifts from the Cercanias concourse, will take you down to the part of the via (platform/track) usedby the front coaches of the trains.
However, onarrival at Chamartin, the exit up to the departure concourse will be bythe rear of the Cercanias train.
So if you have time, move along the via (platform/track) at Atocha prior to boarding.

Using Madrid Chamartin station All that's good to know about using the other main railway station in the Spanish capital

to Barajas airport by train:

Follow these steps when heading to Barajas Airport by train from Atocha station.

(1) 'Cercanias' (local) trains on line C1 and C10 operate between Barajas airport and Atocha, they depart every 15-30 minutes and 'Aeropuerto' is their final destination.
The journey time is around 20 - 25 minutes.

(2) At Atocha they depart from via/platforms 1 and 2 in the Cercanias station; which is beside the main terminal.

(3) The Cecanias station has a concourse where you can buy a ticket; there are manned ticket desks and multiple machines.
(Eurail and InterRail passes are valid on the Cercanias trains).

(4) Note that not all of the Cercanias trains, which depart from platforms/via 1 and 2, will be the line C-1 and C-10 trains heading to the Aeropuerto; so check the departure indicators and info on the trains.

(5) These line C1 and C10 trains call at a station that’s directly linked to Terminal 4 (the main terminal) of Barajas Airport

(6) However, if you take the C1 train to Barajas and your flight is departing from Terminals 1 or 2 - your journey will be a little more awkward (and confusing).
On arrival by C1 train at Barajas you will see multiple signs pointing the way to Terminal (T4), but none for Terminals T1/T2 at all.

You will pass the entrance to the Metro station at Terminal 4, which is served by line 8.
At this point you have a choice:

  • Take the Metro to its station that serves Terminals T1/T2 , but you will need to buy a separate ticket: OR
  • Take the free shuttle bus to terminals T1/T2.

However, there aren't initially any signs pointing you in the direction of this shuttle bus.
Head for the bus station and at the top of the escalator you'll see a sign that points to the nearby shuttle bus stop; the first sign you will see that gives any indication that Barajas airport has any other terminals, apart from Terminal 4!
The bus transfer can take 15 mins and we wished we had opted for the Metro - despite the need to buy a metro ticket.

(Video) Fastest AVE Train Madrid to Valencia, Spain Review (Atocha Station)

Convenient Hotels/Hostels

Madrid’s Puerta De Aocha station is located to the south of the city centre, so there are limited options for finding rooms within a 10min walk of the station.

The hotels below are a fully comprehensive list, so early booking is recommended.
There are no 3* or 5* hotels in the area surrounding Puerta De Atocha.

If budget is a priority then a good option is to make the straightforward transfer to Sol station by Cercanias (commuter train), there is a clutch of 'hostals' surrounding Sol station,

Note the distinction between 'hostal' and hostel, much of the accommodation in these ‘hostals’ is in private rooms and not dormitories.

Hotels within 10 mins walk of Madrid Atocha Station:

Radisson Red Madrid

Eric Vokel Attocha Suites

AC Carlton Marriot

AC Atocha Marriot

Radisson Blu Hotel Prado

Catalonia Hotel

Urban Sea Atocha

60 Balconies

Hostel Sanata Isabel

Resedencia Fernandez

Money saving options with direct public transport links to/from Puerta De Atocha station:

All of the below are within a 5min walk of Sol station, take the Cercanias train lines C3 or C4 from Atocha.

Residencia Alvaro

Hostal Madrid

Diez Madrid

Cruz Sol

The general guide to Spanish rail travel Discover what's good to know about riding the trains, using the major stations, booking tickets and travelling with Eurail and InterRail passes
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(Video) 🚅EP124 Madrid Atocha Station to Barcelona AVE Check in 🚆Boarding Walking tour Spain Renfe 🇪🇸マドリード


How early should I get to Madrid train station? ›

Arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before your train departs. This is because there is a security check, with a scanner for your bags and a ticket check before you can enter the platform. Give yourself time to get to and from the train station.

What is the difference between Puerta de Atocha and Atocha cercanias? ›

(2) Madrid Atocha in effect three stations in one building: the main terminal, known as Puerta De Atocha, which is the part of the station used by the high speed trains. the Cercanias station used by the local trains (the Cercanias trains), the Media-Distancia trains; AND the non-high speed long distance trains.

What is the main train station in Madrid? ›

Atocha Railway Station is the main station in Madrid.

The capital's first train station was inaugurated in 1851 under the name “Estación del Mediodía” (Midday Station). In 2018, Atocha served over 15 million passengers. The station has been renovated and enlarged on several occasions.

Are there lockers at Madrid Atocha station? ›

There are lockers of different sizes, depending on the baggage to be stored. The tariff per day or fraction of a day depends on the size of the locker: small lockers cost €3.10; medium lockers cost €3.60 and large lockers cost € 5.20. Baggage must be passed through a security scanner prior to storage.

How many bags can you bring on Renfe? ›

You can carry up to 3 pieces of hand luggage onto the train, provided that the sum of the three does not exceed 25 kg or 290 cm. The maximum dimensions allowed are 85x55x35 cm. (height-width-depth).

How do you pay for trains in Madrid? ›

To travel on Metro de Madrid you need a Public Transport Card (TTP) loaded with a valid ticket type for the journey you wish to make. More information about Card types and Cards/tickets to enter/exit Aeropuerto stations.

What does Atocha mean in English? ›

esparto or Atocha, a perennial grass in northwest Africa and the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula.

Who is the lady of Atocha? ›

The Virgin of Atocha is considered the patron saint of the Spanish royalty, who made her their protector. Baptisms and royal marriages are celebrated in the Basilica, as well as the visit of the current King and Queen of Spain on their wedding day.

How do I get from Madrid airport to Atocha? ›

Underground train from Atocha Station to Madrid Airport

Simply head into Madrid's underground and catch a Metro to Madrid airport from the station. The journey takes just 35 minutes and costs between €4.50 and €6, with the airport supplement included.

How long does it take to get through security at Madrid? ›

You need to arrive at least two to three hours early at the airport to check in your luggage and go through security. Be aware that it can get crowded during holidays or on special days.

Can I bring a suitcase on a Renfe train? ›

Please note that you can only carry one piece of special luggage per person on board, accompanied by another piece of hand luggage, with maximum dimensions 55x35x25.

What is the safest area to stay in Madrid? ›

Chamberí The traditional, sleepy barrio of Chamberí provides a lovely respite from the bustle of the city centre. An architecturally-pleasing neighbourhood with quiet residential streets, Chamberí is calm, laid-back and without doubt one of the safest places to stay in Madrid.

Do Renfe tickets need to be printed? ›

You need to be carry a printed ticket to travel. You must carry a printed copy with you, which you can print using the auto check-in machines found at the stations that are ready for this or request it at the ticket offices.

Are Renfe seats assigned? ›

The seat reservation is included in the price of your ticket. Please note that seats are automatically allocated. Depending on availability, the carrier will ensure that all passengers in the same party are seated together.

Is the Renfe card free? ›

1. Sign up at the following link, it is free of charge. 2. Use your Tarjeta Más Renfe (loyalty programme) card whenever you book your trip, whether you do so at, a station ticket office, travel agency, etc.

Is it better to use cash or card in Madrid? ›

Paying with cash in Spain

It's advisable to always have some cash with you when you travel. Expect to need cash for things like coffee and tapas, and anytime you need to make a purchase for anything between €10 and €20.

Is it cheaper to buy a train ticket or use contactless? ›

Whilst a daily cap will apply; it is important to be aware that it will not always be cheaper than buying a return paper ticket. There will also be a weekly price cap for those using a Contactless card or mobile device; but it will still be cheaper to buy a season ticket on the Key Smartcard or paper.

Can you pay cash and card for a train ticket? ›

Self-service ticket machines at National Rail stations will accept a more limited range of payment, usually credit/debit card only, or cash and card only.

How old is the Atocha? ›

The Atocha was built for the Spanish Crown in Havana in 1620. She was rated at 550 tons, with an overall length of 112 feet, a beam of 34 feet, and a draft of 14 feet. She carried a square-rigged fore and mainmast and a lateen-rigged mizzenmast.

What platform is Atocha? ›

If you have an AVE or other long-distance train ticket, you may get a suburban ticket free, see the advice here. Go to platform 8. Trains from this platform all go to Atocha, leaving every 5-10 minutes.

What was found on the Atocha? ›

On July 20, 1985 - 35 years ago today - Mel Fisher discovered the shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora De Atocha off the Florida Keys. The cargo's value is estimated to be worth around $400 million. The treasure includes 24 tons of silver bullion, ingots, and coins, 125 gold bars and discs and 1,200 pounds silverware.

Is Mel Fisher still alive? ›

Has all of the Atocha been found? ›

A second hurricane on October 5 further destroyed the wreck, and despite six decades of searching by Spanish salvagers, no trace of Atocha or its treasures would be found.

What happened to the Atocha? ›

The Nuestra Señora de Atocha and eight other ships were sunk by a hurricane off the coast of Key West, Florida, on Sept. 5, 1622, according to historians. Another hurricane a month later scattered the wreckage across the sea floor.

Is 1 hour enough for connecting flights in Madrid? ›

Below you can find the minimum time needed for connecting flights in Madrid-Barajas Airport. Between domestic flights: 20 min. Between domestic and international flights: 60 min. Between international flights: 60 min.

Which Renfe train station is closest to Madrid airport? ›

The Spanish railway company RENFE connects Madrid with Madrid-Barajas Airport through the local train network service "Cercanías" C1 and C10 lines (local commuter trains). The train station is on floor -1 of terminal T4, and is called Aeropuerto T4.

How far is Madrid Atocha from airport? ›

The journey from Madrid Airport to Atocha Station takes 20 minutes.

Is 2 days enough for Madrid? ›

Is 2 days in Madrid enough time? Two days in Madrid is the perfect amount of time to see most of the city's best-known sights and even get a little bit off the beaten path.

Is 3 days enough for Madrid? ›

However, if you only have 3 days in Spain's beautiful capital, that's plenty of time to get a feel for the city. With 3 days in Madrid, you'll be able to experience the most important tourist attractions and even get off the beaten path to some of the city's most authentic corners.

Is 4 days enough for Madrid? ›

4 days in Madrid is enough to give you the perfect introduction to everything that the city has to offer. You'll check out gorgeous artworks, walk in Spanish streets, experience the gastronomic journey that the city has to offer and explore nearby cities as well!

Which is the No 1 railway station in the world? ›

Nagoya Station, Nagoya, Japan

Japan's Nagoya Station is the world's largest station in terms of floor area, which according to some sources stands at an astonishing 446,000m². It is the headquarters of the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), which has two towers that run atop of the station.

What is the least used train station in the world? ›

Shippea Hill railway station - Wikipedia.

What is the most comfortable train in the world? ›

  • Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru.
  • Maharajas' Express, India.
  • The Presidential Train, Portugal.
  • The Ghan, Australia.
  • The Canadian, Canada.
  • The Transcantábrico Gran Lujo, Spain.
  • Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express, Russia.
  • Eastern & Oriental Express, Asia.
29 Sept 2022

Is 1 day enough for Madrid? ›

Is One Day Enough in Madrid? In a city as large as Madrid with so much to see and do, you really need three days to see the top sights. But, one day is a great amount of time to get a taste of the city to whet your appetite for more!

How long does it take to get from Terminal 1 to 4 in Madrid airport? ›

Transport between terminals
From the terminalI want to go toEstimated time
Terminal T2 (Arrivals)Terminal T1 (Departures)4 minutes
From the terminalI want to go toEstimated time
Terminal T2 (Departures)Terminal T4 (Departures)8 minutes
From the terminalI want to go toEstimated time
14 more rows

How long does it take to go through passport control at Madrid? ›

The passport control is before you enter the boarding area. Remember that the entire process requires a time of between 20 and 30 minutes, so we recommend you don't linger in the transit area. Very rarely, your connecting flight will depart from the M gates.

How early should you arrive for a Renfe train? ›

Arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before your train departs. This is because there is a security check, with a scanner for your bags and a ticket check before you can enter the platform.

What am I not allowed to bring on a train? ›

The following items are prohibited onboard the train: non-service animals, firearms and ammunition, hover boards, corrosive or dangerous chemicals and materials, incendiaries, martial arts and self-defense items, archery equipment, devices containing propellants, sharp objects, and similar items.

Do they check your bags before going on a train? ›

Luggage must be checked at least 45 minutes prior to your train's scheduled train departure. If you will be transferring between stations en-route, plan for at least two hours of scheduled layover time to ensure your luggage is transferred to your new train.

Is Atocha safe? ›

It is safe. I stay around there often (solo) for business as my company office is near Atocha. I never felt unsafe, just use your common sense, as everywhere. It is a quiet residential area.

Where should I stay in Madrid for the first time? ›

The best area to stay in Madrid is hands down Distrito Centro, especially if it's your first time visiting the city. Madrid's City Centre includes six different barrios including the Old Town and the nightlife hotspots of Malasaña & Chueca and is home to the city's main cultural and historic attractions.

Is it safe to stay in Centro Madrid? ›

Safest Areas of Madrid

Centro, La Latina, Lavapiés, Huertas, Malasaña, Chueca, Argüelles, and Moncloa are generally safe to walk around any time of day, though normal precautions apply.

How many hours early should I arrive at the railway station? ›

Reach atleast 30 min prior to departure if u want to board ur train easily as there will be rush on the platform. Will the train start to operate after May 3 in India? Can I board a train from a station 1120 km after the station on my ticket?

How early should I get to the railway station? ›

Passengers will have to arrive at the departure station at least 90 minutes before the departure time of the train.

How early do I need to be at Madrid airport? ›

You need to arrive at least two to three hours early at the airport to check in your luggage and go through security. Be aware that it can get crowded during holidays or on special days.

How early should you get to the train? ›

Arriving at the Station

Plan to arrive at the station at least 30 minutes before your train is scheduled to depart (Auto Train passengers should arrive at the station at least two hours prior to departure).

Is 5 minutes enough time to change trains? ›

These times are automatically calculated by the rail operator in accordance with the type of station and your connecting train. This means that if you are given a 5 to 10 minute connection at a smaller station then it is assumed that this will be enough time.

What if the train is late for more than 2 hours? ›

No cancellation charge or clerkage shall be levied and full fare shall be refundable to all passengers holding Reserved, RAC, and Waitlisted tickets, if the journey is not undertaken due to late running of the train by more than 3 hours of the scheduled departure of the train from the journey commencing station ...

How long can I wait in railway station? ›

You can stay in the waiting rooms until the departure train comes. Entry is allowed up to 3 hours before scheduled departure of the train.

Do and don'ts in railway station? ›

Don't use passenger alarm between stops unless it's a real emergency. Do not block train doors while standing in front of door. Do not play music speakers on the train or at station. Do not sit on the floor of the train.

Can I enter railway without ticket? ›

Prohibition against travelling without pass or ticket. —"Section 55(1) No person shall enter or remain in any carriage on a railway for the purpose of travelling therein as a passenger unless he has with him a proper pass or ticket or obtained permission of a railway servant authorised in this behalf for such travel.

Can we enter railway without ticket? ›

Visiting Indian Railway platform without a ticket is an offence. One can be penalized if caught without a ticket on platform. So, if you are heading to see off your loved ones at station or going to receive them, please ensure to buy a platform ticket before entering the station' platforms.

How long does it take to get through customs at Madrid airport? ›

Upon landing, passengers/crew will be transported to customs/immigration for clearance. Clearance will take place at the airport's GAT and usually takes around 5-10 minutes.

How much is PCR test at Madrid airport? ›

*Price of the Test without appointment: 50€.

Can you get a PCR test in Madrid airport? ›

COVID-19 test available at Madrid (T2) Airport

Detects if you carry the virus in the earliest stages of infection.

What should you not do on a train? ›

Stand back: Always stay behind the yellow lines at train stations. Enter or exit a station platform at designated areas. Stay off the tracks: Train tracks, bridges and yards are private property. Never walk, bike, skateboard or run on or along the tracks; it's illegal and dangerous.

Are you allowed to get off a train early? ›

Yes, you can break your journey while travelling with an Anytime Single or Return ticket. This means you can get off the train at any connecting stop and leave the station, before boarding a later train to complete your journey.

Is it better to book train tickets early? ›

Is it cheaper to buy a train ticket in advance? Yes. Advance train tickets are usually the cheapest way to travel by train, and generally go on sale 12 weeks before your date of travel. You'll need to travel on the train you're booked on, but you'll get a cheaper price by foregoing flexible travel times.


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